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North Carolina Expungement Process Explained

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What is an NC Expungement?

Expungement is the process in which a person convicted of a crime is eligible to have that charge removed from their record. Even after a case is dismissed, the charge will remain visible to future employers, customers, landlords, universities, and insurance agents. If not properly handled, this can have serious negative implications on your future. It is strongly advised you speak with an experienced attorney to manage your case.

At The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel we have experienced Raleigh Expungement Lawyers to handle your case. We will work tirelessly to make sure we defend your rights, and that you walk away with a clean record.

Expungement Eligibility

Expungements vary from case to case, but you may be eligible for any of the following:

  • Expungement of Juvenile Records
  • Expungement of Juvenile Records for Dismissed Cases
  • Expungement of Drug Offenses for Persons 21 and under
  • Expungement for Cases of Identity Theft
  • Expungement for Misdemeanor Possession of Alcohol (under 21)
  • Expungement of Misdemeanors Committed before 18th birthday
  • Expungement when charges are dismissed and there are findings of Not Guilty
  • Expungement when a pardon of innocence is Granted by the governor
  • Expungement for first offenders (21 and under) of certain drug paraphernalia charges
  • Expungement of certain gang offenses (17 and under)
  • Expungement of Non-Violent felonies committed under the age of 18
  • Expungement of Older Non-Violent Misdemeanor and Felony Charges (5 year wait for certain misdemeanors and 10 year wait for certain felonies)

   The Process

Step #1: Determining Eligibility – Varies case to case, we will determine eligibility based off your court records.

Step #2: Filing the Petition – Once determined eligible, we will file a petition for expungement in the clerk’s office in the county where you were charged.

Step #3: Review by the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) – Following the initial signature from a judge or district attorney (if required) the petition will be sent to the SBI. They will conduct a search on your criminal history in NC and attach any additional records. Those additional records will be sent to the NC Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC). After reviewing the petition for prior expungements, the AOC attaches its findings and sends it back to the clerk’s office in the county where the crime took place. This process is quite lengthy and can take multiple months.

Step #4: Final Judgement by the Court – Once the petition is returned to the courthouse, a judge makes a final jurisdiction based on the information from the SBI and AOC. It’s up to the judges discretion if they want to grant expungement without a formal hearing. If there is any question about the subjects eligibility, or an objection from the District Attorney, then a formal hearing might be required. That final hearing will either grant or deny expungement.

Step #5: Removal of Expunged Records – The clerk of court is statutorily required to send notice of expunction to all relevant agencies that have information about your case.

Law Firm Located in Cary, NC

Our main office is located at 2401 Weston Parkway in Cary, NC off exit 287.

The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC

At The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel we handle misdemeanor criminal charges and low level felony charges in Wake County.  Our firm practice areas include: DWI/DUI’s, marijuana charges, assault, battery, larceny, theft, traffic tickets, and more. We strongly advise talking an attorney to discuss your possible options and to ensure your charges are handled in an appropriate manner.  If you are looking for a Wake County Criminal Defense Lawyer Wiley Nickel, Kristi Haddock, or Melissa Botiglione at 919-585-1486 for a free consultation.

Tips for picking the best Criminal Defense Attorney in Wake County

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If you have been charged with a crime in the state of North Carolina, whether it be a misdemeanor or felony, you should be in contact with an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney as soon as possible. Here are some tips that will help you choose a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Wake County.

  • Courtroom Experience
  • Reputation in the Legal Community
  • Confidence, not Arrogance
  • Someone you can Trust
  • Do they take the time to Explain your Options?
  • Leader in the Law and Educating Lawyers
  • How big is the support team at the office?

Comfort with your criminal defense lawyer is key.  When you’re lookiing for the best criminal lawyer in Raleigh it’s important to find a law firm that cares about you and understand how hard it can be to face criminal charges – for many of our clients this is the first time they’ve been charged with a crime.  We will take the time to explain your options and make sure you understand the process.  We care about our clients and are always available to talk about issues involving your case.

Law Firm Located in Raleigh, NC

Our main office is located at 2401 Weston Parkway in Cary, NC off exit 287. However, we also have another location at 6220 Angus Drive, Suite 105, Raleigh, NC.

The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC

At The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel we handle misdemeanor criminal charges and low level felony charges in Wake County. Our firm practice areas include: DWI/DUI’s, marijuana charges, assault, battery, larceny, theft, traffic tickets, and more. We strongly advise talking with an attorney to discuss your possible options and to ensure your charges are handled in an appropriate manner.  If you are looking for a Wake County Criminal Defense Lawyer contact Wiley Nickel, Kristi Haddock, or Melissa Botiglione at 919-585-1486 for a free consultation.

How do I clean my North Carolina Criminal Record?

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Everyone makes mistakes, but everyone also deserves a chance at redemption. In the state of North Carolina, cleaning your record is referred to as the expungement process. The expungement process can be quite convoluted, and is subjected to several conditions depending on your case.

Even if your case was dismissed, a charge on your record can still negatively impact your professional aspirations, getting into schools, your insurance, and more. It’s important that you speak with an experienced expungement attorney to make sure your case will be properly handled. At the Law Offices of Wiley Nickel we have attorneys with years of experience handling expungements.

Am I eligible for my case to be Expunged?

There are numerous factors that may allow you to have your charge expunged. Here are some of the more common questions we receive. 

  • Age during offense
  • Were you arrested?
  • Were you convicted?
  • What is the class of offense?
  • Do you have any prior criminal history?
  • Have you had something expunged in the past?
  • Do traffic violations count?

Law Firm Located in Raleigh, NC

Our main office is located at 2401 Weston Parkway in Cary, NC off exit 287. However, we also have another location at 6220 Angus Drive, Suite 105, Raleigh, NC.

The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC

At The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel we handle misdemeanor criminal charges and low level felony charges in Wake County. We strongly advise talking with an attorney to discuss your possible options and to ensure your charges are handled in an appropriate manner.  If you are looking for a criminal defense lawyer or a Wake County Expungment Lawyer contact Attorney Wiley Nickel or Attorney Kristi Haddock at 919-585-1486 for a free consultation.

Criminal Diversion Programs in North Carolina – Know Your Options – Raleigh Expungement Lawyer

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Criminal Diversion Programs in North Carolina Can Lead to An Expungement

A criminal record is life-changing, and can compromise housing applications, gainful employment prospects, college admissions, and student loans, among other things. These difficulties impair convicted offenders’ abilities to become productive members of society and certainly make it harder to find a job.

Are you eligible for a criminal deferral program?

Enter criminal diversion programs. These valuable programs, usually geared towards first-time offenders, rehabilitate defendants, allowing them avoid a conviction upon successful completion of the program.

Adult Diversion Programs

There are a number of adult diversion programs available in North Carolina for minor or first-time offenses. Most programs are geared towards drug and alcohol offenses, but informal programs are available for other types of minor offenses as well.  Our Expungement Lawyer can explain the options.

Conditional Discharge 90/96 Program

North Carolina G.S. 90-96 allows for a dismissal of drug cases for defendants charged of certain first-time drug offenses, including possession of controlled substances or paraphernalia. To quality for this program, defendants must not have any prior drug convictions or other felony convictions.

Under this program, defendants are sometimes required to perform community service, pay court costs and fines, and complete a drug abuse assessment program and the required drug classes. If defendants complete these requirements within the approved time period and stay out of trouble the case will be dismissed.

Felony Drug Diversion Program

Defendants facing first-time felony drug charges may be eligible to participate in the felony drug diversion program. This program is much more extensive, and lasts a full year.

Defendants are required to sign an admission of guilt, submit to random drug tests, complete 225 hours of community service, meet monthly with a case manager, remain in school or employed, and avoid criminal convictions of any kind. Upon successful completion, the case will be dismissed.

Informal First Offender Programs

An informal first-time offender program may be an option for other first-time low-level offenses such as shoplifting. In this case, your defense attorney would make a deal with the Assistant District Attorney managing your case. These programs vary on a case-by-case basis, but often include restitution, community service, court fees, and potentially counseling. In Wake County these diversion programs usually involve 75 hours of community service.

Teen Court

In Wake County there is an option for some to do teen court to complete community service and participate in mock court sessions with other youthful offenders.

Expungement

For many the goal is an expungement to clear all of your criminal records once the case is dismissed.  We can talk to you about your eligibility for a North Carolina expungement when/if the case is dismissed.

Contact a North Carolina Diversion Lawyer

If you are charged with a crime in Wake County, North Carolina you can contact The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel for a free consultation.  You may be able to enter into a deal that would lead to a dismissal of your case.  You can reach a Raleigh Expungeement Lawyer at 919-948-7159 to talk about your possible options for a dismissal deal and then an expungement.

How Many Different Expungements Can You Get in North Carolina?

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How To Get Your Criminal Record Expunged: Can You Get Multiple Expungements in North Carolina over a lifetime?

You can get as many expungements as the law allows.  Some types expungements bar you from getting certain other types of expungement in the future and for other situations there could be multiple expungements allowed.  It’s all very fact specific.

Certain Convictions under 18 and Certain Drinking Tickets under 21

Many can get an NC expungement of a misdemeanor conviction for an offense committed before the age 18 plus certain drinking tickets before age 21.  That expungement statute does not list a prior expungement as a bar to getting one.

Dismissal/Not Guilty Expungements

In many cases you can’t get a dismissal expungement if you’ve had certain other types of expungements.  If you have a misdemeanor conviction on your record and want to get an expungement for a dismissed case that conviction likely does not bar you from a dismissal expungement.  For many clients the order of using their expungements is very important and if there are multiple things going on you could limit the possibilities for expungements if you do them in the wring order.

15 Year Wait Expungements

For many clients their public records can be erased through the expungement process for one misdemeanor or low level felony after 15 years have passed (assuming it’s the only criminal conviction on their record).  In that situation most other prior expungements could block them from the 15 year wait kind of expungement.  An expunction of a dismissal is the one type of expungement that is not listed as a bar to getting the 15 year type.

What Next?

A prior expungement generally makes it difficult for a person to get an expungement more than once. However there is not a rule that allows only one expungement for all scenarios. The terms of each statute control whether a person can obtain another expungement. North Carolina law creates a narrow path to additional expungements in many situations.  All cases are different.  If you have questions about getting a second expungement contact The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC at 919-585-1486 for a free consultation.  Our NC Expungements Lawyers will answer your questions and let you know if we can expunge criminal records for you.

NC Expungement Information

A great Op-Ed from the Raleigh News & Observer – Help for those with North Carolina criminal records.

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A link for a great Op-Ed from the News & Observer.  Text below.

“N.C. bill would help those with criminal records

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/op-ed/article150219672.html#storylink=cpy
If you are interested in learning more about the expungement process in North Carolina hit this link to learn more about what crimes are eligible for a North Carolina expungement.

The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC Earns BBB Accreditation

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 17, 2017

The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel is Committed to BBB’s Standards for Trust

This week, The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel announced its recent accreditation by Better Business Bureau serving Eastern North Carolina. As a BBB Accredited Business, The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel is dedicated to promoting trust in the marketplace.

“We are proud to have met BBB’s high standards and we are excited to be part of an organization that exists so consumers and businesses alike have an unbiased source to guide them on matters of trust,” said Raleigh Attorney Wiley Nickel. “BBB Accreditation gives our customers confidence in our commitment to maintaining high ethical standards of conduct.”

BBB Accredited Businesses must adhere to BBB’s “Standards for Trust,” a comprehensive set of policies, procedures and best practices representing trustworthiness in the marketplace. The standards call for building trust, embodying integrity, advertising honestly, telling the truth, being transparent, honoring promises, being responsive and safeguarding privacy.

When dealing with a BBB Accredited Business the consumer has peace of mind knowing that they are dealing with an honest organization that is accountable to its clients.

For additional information regarding BBB Accreditation, visit easternnc.bbb.org.

 

About The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC:

“When your future and reputation are at stake, an experienced Raleigh Criminal Defense Lawyer makes your rights a priority.”

As a former Deputy District Attorney Wiley Nickel has the experience that matters most.  With a practice based on trust, respect, discretion and professionalism, Raleigh Criminal Lawyer Wiley Nickel helps his clients avoid the dire consequences of criminal charges.

As a Raleigh Criminal Defense Attorney, Wiley focuses on Wake County Misdemeanor charges and Raleigh DWI/DUI offenses.  A DWI or other criminal charge can have a profound effect on your life and financial situation, and the right Raleigh Criminal Defense Attorney makes all the difference.  Fighting traffic tickets, which may negatively impact your record and lead to huge increases for your car insurance, is another way Wiley defends every aspect of your rights.

Wiley Nickel and Associate Attorney Kristi Haddock focus on Raleigh Criminal Defense, Family Law, Wake County Traffic Tickets and Epxungements from their Offices in Cary and Apex.  Contact The law Offices of Wiley Nickel when you need an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney, Marijuana Defense Lawyer, DWI Lawyer in the cities of Raleigh, Cary, Morrisville, Apex, Holly Springs and Fuquay Varina.  Defending your rights is our main priority.

About BBB serving Eastern North Carolina:

Better Business Bureau serving Eastern North Carolina is a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit corporation serving 33 counties in eastern North Carolina. The organization is funded primarily by BBB Accredited Business fees from more than 3,000 local businesses and professional firms. BBB promotes integrity, consumer confidence and business ethics through business self-regulation in the local marketplace. Services provided by BBB include reports on companies and charitable organizations, general monitoring of advertising in the marketplace, consumer/business education programs and dispute resolution services. All services are provided at no cost to the public, with the occasional exception of mediation and arbitration. Visit bbb.org.

North Carolina Expungement Court Costs

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Expungement court costs can be confusing.  The North Carolina Legislature recently made expungements more expensive for some people and added an extra $175 in expungement court costs in order to file for certain expungement petitions when a case has been dismissed.

If your case was dismissed as the result of compliance with a deferred prosecution agreement or a conditional discharge and dismissal then the law says you need to pay an extra $175 in expungement court costs for an expungement.  If your case was NOT dismissed deferred prosecution agreement or a conditional discharge program then you do not need to pay court costs of $175 for a dismissal expungement.  The main rule of thumb is generally whether or not a judge signed the deferred prosecution agreement.

You do not need to pay the $175 in expungement court costs if you do not wish to file an expungement.

If your case was dismissed for any number of other reasons then you would not likely have expungement court costs.  If you were found Not Guilty then there would be no expungement court costs for an eligible expungement petition.  Other reasons for a dismissal could be the failure of the state to prosecute (no witnesses).  They could also be weak legal grounds for the case where the DA dismisses the case or an informal dismissal where the case was dismissed for community service where there was no formal signed agreement.

You can also seek to avoid expungement court costs if you are indigent.  In order to automatically qualify for an indigent fee waiver of the $175 expungement court costs you must be a current recipient of one of the following:

  1. Food stamps
  2. Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC)
  3. Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  4. Representation by legal services organization (or private attorney working on behalf of legal services organization).

An individual not currently receiving one of these benefits, must submit an affidavit of Indigency to try to avoid the $175 North Carolina Expungement Court costs.  This affidavit would just need to show that you have little or no money coming in and could not afford the $175 court costs to clear your record.

If you would like more information about North Carolina Expungements and NC Expungement Court Costs you can call The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC at 919-585-1486 for a free consultation to discuss hiring our law firm for your North Carolina Expungement petition.  We are based in Cary, NC and handle petitions for the entire state of North Carolina.

New Satellite Office Open in Apex! Wake County Expungement Lawyer

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The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC is proud to announce the opening of our first Satellite office.  The new office is located in Apex, North Carolina at 510 West Williams Street, Suite 101.  We will be able to take meetings by appointment at this new office location in Apex.  The expansion is part of an effort to better serve clients in Western Wake County and Chatham County, North Carolina.

At The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC, we believe that successfully addressing client needs requires more than just knowledge of the law and a mastery of the multitude of rules and regulations that impact our clients’ needs. Providing quality legal services means being in our client’s community and being able to meet our clients where they live. Our commitment to excellence, combined with our mission to deliver outstanding client service, has earned our firm the excellent reputation it enjoys today.

The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC is proud to have a great reputation and a tradition of aggressive representation of our client’s needs.  We provide quality legal representation and are dedicated to maintaining and expanding our capabilities and expertise across a wide range of practice areas in order to better address the diverse needs of our clients.  Our principal areas of practice include: Criminal Defense, DWI Defense, Speeding Tickets, Wake County Expungement Petitions, NC Expungements, Juvenile Delinquency, DMV Issues, Child Custody and Divorce. We are also experienced in a number of specialty areas that are incorporated into these core criminal defense based practice groups.

If you are charged with a criminal offense and live in the Apex, NC area you can contact us at our new Apex location or our Cary location for a free consultation.  We handle Wake County Expungement Petitions.

http://wileynickel.com/raleigh-defense-lawyer-blog/2017/2/21/new-satellite-office-open-in-apex

How Long Does a Charge Stay on My Record in NC?

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It’s a myth that charges will only stay on your record in North Carolina for seven years. Rather, charges in North Carolina stay on your record forever unless you have petition the court to have them expunged. Some employers may only go back so far to check your background, but some may look at your complete criminal history. Nothing in North Carolina forbids an employer from looking at your criminal background beyond seven years.

criminal-record-NC
You can have certain charges in North Carolina expunged from your record, depending on what the charge is, when it was received, and what the disposition of it was. Any charge that was dismissed can generally be expunged, minus a few exceptions (such as if you signed an agreement with the Assistant District Attorney that you would not seek an expunction on the charge).
If you pleaded guilty to the charge and were over 18 at the time of the charge, you must wait 15 years before the charge can be expunged in North Carolina. That charge will remain on you record until it is expunged, if it can be.
Please note that not all charges in North Carolina can be expunged, including DWI convictions. Contact The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel at (919) 585-1486 for a free consultation on whether your charges can be expunged, and what the process is to do so. Our office handles expungements in all 100 counties in NC, and most everything can be done by phone or email. Email us at wiley@wileynickel.com for more information.